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S4D4C’s apex event convenes EU SD Cluster

The S4D4C project will host their final Final Networking Meeting online 15-19 March 2021. High-level decision-makers, academics and experienced science diplomats will join in conversation under the theme of Addressing Global Challenges Together: the Role of Science Diplomacy.

As a sister project in the EU Science Diplomacy Cluster, InsSciDE is a contributing stakeholder to the S4D4C event and will be represented in sessions throughout the week.

Check out some of our highlights below!

16 March | 10:30-12h CET

Panel: Addressing Global Challenges Under Multipolarity - Science Diplomacy and Strategy

InsSciDE’s panel combines contemporary historical analysis with political science and strategy insights.

Global challenges are addressed today under structural conditions of a relative power transition “from the West to the Rest” led by Asia. In this increasingly multipolar world, counterparts do not uniformly share goals guiding European action: democracy, openness, rule of law. Science diplomacy (SD) here is an indispensable tool of statecraft within an implicit or explicit strategy. InsSciDE offers a critical, historically-informed discussion of how European/SD strategy emerges from multiple pressures, transactions, negotiations and pragmatic needs.

Moderator R. Bertelsen (UiT) reflects on existential threats whose solution must include a technoscientific component. Addressing e.g. climate change, public health, nuclear non-proliferation and arms control demands global cooperation – but can they be addressed without it? Historian M. Rentetzi (FAU) illustrates issues with the example of nuclear safety and the strategic role of the IAEA. Strategist B. Fägersten (SIIA) shares tools of the trade, invoking contested futures, strategic building blocks and resources needed to execute strategy. Historian L. Badel (Sorbonne) reviews the late development of an explicit European foreign policy and its tensions with member state policy. Economist and former Science Counselor P-B. Ruffini (U. Le Havre) shares new data on the profile and missions of the EU Science and Technology Counselors corps, its organic growth since the late 1970’s, and its geopolitical significance in S&T partnerships.

Audience discussion should deepen the ongoing debate on the role and meaning of SD for humanity to coordinate in a post-Western world.


  • Laurence Badel, Professor of Economics, U. Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Rasmus G Bertelsen (chair), Professor of Northern Studies and the inaugural Barents Chair in Politics, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø)
  • Björn Fägersten, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Europe Program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs
  • Maria Rentetzi, Chair in Science, Technology and Gender Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Theology
  • Pierre-Bruno Ruffini, Professor of International Economics, University of Le Havre-Normandie, France, and InsSciDE Research Fellow

16 March | 16-17:30h CET

Panel: The Theory of Science Diplomacy

InsSciDE expert and case study author P-B. Ruffini shares conceptual thinking.

Science diplomacy is at large a practitioners’ concept. It was coined by policy makers and advisers and it is most often used to advance specific actions in the future and to generate real-world impact. Nevertheless, science diplomacy can be conceived of as a strong idea or concept. This concept rests on a broad range of generalizations and theoretical assumptions that help to make sense of the world’s complexities. In this session we would like open the floor for theoretical reflections and considerations of science diplomacy as a concept. Particularly we would like to take the chance to discuss the following questions: Where do we stand today after years of observing the evolution of science diplomacy as a popular term? Where is the growing academic debate that has paralleled the concept’s evolution heading? Are there definitions or typologies that have gained ground recently? Are there (new) favourites? What are the main challenges, caveats and weaknesses? And finally: What will be the role and relevance of ’a theory of science diplomacy’ in the future?


  • Ewert J. Aukes, Postdoctoral Researcher in Science, Technology and Policy Studies, University of Twente
  • Tim Flink, Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer in science policy, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the German Center of Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)
  • Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros, Professor of Knowledge and Innovation Management and Governance at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences at the University of Twente
  • Alexander Raev, Consultant, Department of Education, Science and Humanities, VDI/VDE/IT GmbH
  • Pierre-Bruno Ruffini, Professor of International Economics, University of Le Havre-Normandie, France, and InsSciDE Research Fellow
  • Charlotte Rungius (chair), Research Associate, German Centre for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW)

18 March | 16-17:30h CET

Science Diplomacy Community Flash Talks

We also strongly recommend attending Thursday’s Community Flash Talks. Short engaging presentations will traverse topics of science diplomacy training, Antarctica, pandemic response, ocean science diplomacy and more.

Special mention goes to the presentations being given by alumni of InsSciDE’s Warsaw Science Diplomacy School of 2020! (Apply to WSDS21)

SciDEAL: A New Model to Train the Next Generation of Scientist-diplomats
Amrita Banerjee, Science Diplomacy Exchange and Learning (SciDEAL) Program Coordinator, National Science Policy Network (NSPN)

Contribution to the Science Diplomacy Literature: Perspectives from Latin America
Kleinsy Bonilla, Founding Member, Science Diplomacy Network in Latin America

Ocean science diplomacy in action: the All Atlantic Alliance
Andrei Polejack, PhD student, World Maritime University

Water Diplomacy – Understanding the Urgency of Legal Solutions to Ocean Change
Joanna Siekiera, Postdoctoral Fellow, SDG Bergen, University of Bergen

Diplomacies Intertwined: The Future of European Science Diplomacy
Zane Šime, Member of the Latvian Association of Political Scientists

19th March | 13-14h CET

Panel: Lessons from the European Science Diplomacy Cluster

InsSciDE’s Coordinator joins cluster peers to announce a new Alliance.

The three project coordinators from the ’science diplomacy cluster’ will discuss the achievements and the lessons learned by each project along the way. Recommendations to maintain a lively science diplomacy community and to further enhance science diplomacy in the EU will be formulated. Finally, the sustainability of the S4D4C project and of the cluster will be addressed. Thus, the session will see short interventions from other key actors of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance.

  • Elke Dall, S4D4C Project Coordinator, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Austria
  • Luk van Langenhove, EL-CSID Project Coordinator, former Academic Director at the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
  • Pascal Griset, InsSciDE Project Coordinator and Professor of Modern History, Sorbonne Université, France

Published 9 March 2021

S4D4C Final Networking Meeting
15-19 March 2021
Addressing Global Challenges Together: the Role of Science Diplomacy
Full agenda

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